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Local News

Joliet tries again on Crabigale's building

A view of the former Crabigale's building is seen in this 2012 file photo along Cass Street in downtown Joliet.
A view of the former Crabigale's building is seen in this 2012 file photo along Cass Street in downtown Joliet.

JOLIET – The city again will seek proposals for redevelopment of the old Crabigale’s building after getting only one in a round that ended April 7.

This time around, the city will not require that prospective developers put a restaurant on the first floor, although the city continues to look for some form of an entertainment venue in the downtown building.

Joliet Economic Development Director Steve Jones said in an email that the city wanted to allow for more flexibility in the hope of getting more proposals.

“We are optimistic this flexibility will result in additional interest and hopefully lead to a redevelopment project prior to the end of the year,” Jones said.

The city owns the Loughran Building at 1 E. Cass St., which last was used for the Crabigale’s comedy club. The club closed in 2005. In recent years, two entrepreneurs have proposed restaurants for the building, but both plans eventually fell through.

The request for proposals continues to seek a restaurant and lounge on the first floor but now states that “alternate proposals may be considered if in keeping with the entertainment theme envisioned for Chicago Street.”

The Loughran Building is located on the corner of Chicago and Cass streets.

The city acquired it in 2001 with plans to work out a development agreement with an individual or company that would renovate the property and put it back into private use. Crabigale’s was the first and only venture at the building, and that was short-lived.

The development agreement created by the city basically turns over the property to an individual or company once it has put $300,000 of renovations into the building.

As it did the last time around, the city will require that potential developers tour the building before making proposals.

Jones said four prospects toured the building before the city received one development proposal by a 3 p.m. deadline April 7.

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